Out in Savannah



Since my brother is an American hero, dealing with the enormity and organization of the US Army for the past few years, I decided to go down to Georgia and hang out this past weekend before he leaves for a cross-country road trip. He is leaving the service after 9 years and taking full control of his time. I wish him all the best and safety as he explores. I enjoyed this vacation-getaway from the bustle of Boston. I felt tired, but not because I wasn't resting, instead I believe I felt tired because I was getting some rest from my own busy life. I put away the work for a few nights and we simply hung out like old times, watching TV, driving around, and playing games. 

Downtown Savannah is a fun place to go out and enjoy a warm day or a chilly night. I was happily surprised to see so many people out and about between the historic district and River St areas. Tyler and I walked down Forsyth park and got some coffee, bumbling about until the late evening. 

On Saturday the 21st, we visited Tybee Island and loitered like tourists, had some seafood and a beer. This is how I like to have a little vacation. 





Graduate Applications and Florida Business Trip

 


It has been a busy few weeks. 
  • My colleagues at PSI and I have been moving fast on a project in order to bring hardware to a demonstration this past week in central Florida. 
  • Meanwhile, there are other programs at work that I have been giving attention towards
  • I have been gathering gifts for the holidays 
  • I have been working on finishing an album with Fred Desk
  • I got sick last weekend for the first time in a while and taking care of myself when I can
  • I applied to graduate school at some New England and midwestern schools.
The Florida trip was a great success from all that I can tell. I think we made a good impression and I look forward to continued work on the project we brought down there.

Gift buying has been fun. I know everyone talks about how the holidays are stressful, but it honestly has not been that bad for me this year. Most of the people I got gifts for were thankfully direct about what they wanted, or indicated something that they would like. 

The Fred Desk album is about 1.5 months away!! As long as the January sessions go well, it is well on its way to being finished.

More on graduate school applications to come in a few months, I heard back from a professor who is interested in talking to me about their work :)


A quintessential photo of Florida: concrete, power lines, and scrubby palm bushes


My hotel room had a jacuzzi tub for some reason?


Making myself good food as always from scratch

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard at New York's Forest Hills Stadium

 


The merch booth!

A friend and I travelled to New York city to watch a show that was years in the making. Over three years ago, we originally had a plan to see King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in NYC but we were stopped by other obligations and then the pandemic happened. Finally, we got tickets to the Forest Hills Stadium show on October 21st. I was stoked and even more excited when Black MIDI announced they would be the opener a few weeks ago.

The venue is converted from an old tennis arena. As a result, the viewing areas are divided into stone seating stands and a boxy, flat standing area for general admission. We were situated in the middle of the floor on top of old tennis courts and we vibed along with the two openers, Leah Senior and Black MIDI. These two artists warmed up the crowd. Leah had people grooving back and forth and Black MIDI started the mosh pit crowd. The sets were relatively short and tight. Leah's group only played a few short songs without much banter. Black MIDI played fast and hard with limited time to jam. Soon after lights and smoke effects were tested, KGatLW jumped out on stage. They started off the show with a thrashing rendition of The Dripping Tap. The crowd was cheering and jeering as the mosh pit grew to encompass most of the front half of the floor area. I had been talking with some folks nearby me right before the KGatLW set started, they had grabbed drinks and were curious if the crowd would be rowdy. I looked their way and said "... there will be a mosh pit, people will get rowdy"; and I was right. I had a great time and stayed out of most of the mess. The songs were played with care and technicality. The majority of tracks chosen from KGatLW's discography were from their heavier and longer tracks. It was rather apparent that they focused on more recent and popular tracks that they had been working on. I expected as much and they did their older songs with just as much perfection. 10/10 concert experience, I am a frugal man, but I spent a pile of pennies on a couple band T-shirts. Who knows when I will see this combination of artists again?

The next morning, I ate at a greasy spoon diner in Manhattan and roamed the city for a few hours before taking Amtrak's Northeast Regional back to Boston.


The setlist found after the show, crumpled by the mosh



Statue of Liberty from Battery Park in Manhattan, NYC, NY


Stage prior to show



Herbert the rabbit and me on the floor

A Great, Great Barrington Trip

 


I am a lucky guy to have some good folks in my friend circle. This past weekend, myself and a few others were able to rent a cabin near Great Barrington, MA. We enjoyed the sight of colorful leaves and sounds of falling water. We sat in comfy chairs and ate shared dishes while we discussed life, family, friends, work, and all the other details. 


A few from the living room


The hiking party trekking part of the Appalachian Trail


Bash Bish falls


The valley of Bash Bish falls looking out towards the Catskill Mtns east range


A toasty campfire

The Winds Blow a Little Colder

 


The mushrooms are popping free from the dirt and the temperature has dropped quite a bit these past two weeks. Fall is here and life is good. I visited Michigan last week and saw my family. My brother has returned from a special deployment and it sounds like he is going to take a well deserved break from active duty. My work keeps me occupied and I feel like there's always more to be done, that's just how it goes. A friend of mine came over last night and we talked for a few hours. We'll be going on a trip next month to NYC to watch a concert. We are planning to take the Northeast Regional Amtrak train. I'm looking forward to it since I've never rode a long distance train in the US. I rode a bunch of great trains in Japan when I was there for a couple weeks a few years ago. The train tickets there and back were $100 and the time to arrive is similar to a bus which would be $60+. So there is a little bit of a premium. That's okay. I can afford little luxuries. The concert will be a blast. 



The western view from Mt. Stinson in New Hampshire


My silly photo, I'm kneeling on more rocks below this small bluff



My soon-to-be office space in Wilmington, MA



A view of Lansing, MI, from above


A view from my mom and Brian's house

August Travels

 

Thomas Cole painting at the BMA, painted prior to his famous series on civilization


On a work trip, I spent the last few days in Aberdeen, Maryland, near Baltimore. My company Physical Sciences, Inc. developed an atmospheric water extraction device and since I had a large role in the mechanics, electronics, and testing of the device, I was a prime candidate to unpack, prep, and train a group at the Army Test Center to use the PSI device. The Army Test Center (ATC) operates within the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), a multi-branch base with an airfield, firing grounds, and soldier training facilities. It is one of the few places in the US where live tank and howitzer ammunition is fired. As I trained staff of the ATC on how to operate the atmospheric water extractor, I would hear booms and feel shockwaves from a mile or two away. I had a good time and met some very interesting people who help make sure the US armed forces use reliable and quality gear. I learned a lot about what features make a good system for field use. I might have to come back down to Maryland if something breaks, so hopefully that doesn't happen. My brother will be shortly on his way back to Fort Stewart near Savannah, GA. He has been spending hours and hours in Germany on special deployment. Hopefully he doesn't have to go back to where he was sent for work either. I'm guessing the Ukraine-Russian war ends in a messy ceasefire with the pre-war borders. It seems to me to be a complete waste of people and resources for some ideologues in the Kremlin. Too unfortunate for the working people of both nations.

I got a rental car for my time near Baltimore. The total cost was > $700 for the whole week! They tacked on a hundred in fees, a hundred for being 24 years old (and not 25), and another hundred in taxes and millages. Rather a lot, I think? I haven't had a conventional rental car before. I used to use ZipCar in the Boston area, but cancelled my subscription after I got my Rav4. 

On the last day of my trip, I visited the Susquehanna State Park, walked part of the Mason-Dixon trail, and saw the Baltimore Museum of Art. All in all a good trip.


Cool table at the BMA

Grist mill by the Susquehanna river. Used to be owned by the family of a dirty union army turncoat

Small tributary of the susquehanna

June Travels

 


June was a good busy month. The weather was mostly nice, I feel productive, and not too many issues. It started off with the belated graduation ceremonies aftermath of many old colleagues getting sick (post the great gatherings), and later ended with a trip to Seattle, Michigan, and then back to Boston. I like to think that things are in balance in my life and I worry about the state of things beyond my tiny bubble. I worry about the nature of the content I read, watch, and listen. I wonder about the targeted advertisements I receive. But in general, life is good. I was in Seattle to visit a subcontractor on a program my company is working on. The company works on a variety of outdoor and expeditionary equipment. I had a good time visiting their facilities and seeing the city. I found the manufacturing aspects of this subcontractor particularly interesting since Physical Sciences is primarily focused on the R&D side of products. I saw staff hard at work on CNC machines, presses, fume hoods, etc. In the city, I visited some friends from college and we got some food and drinks. I was welcomed into the home of a friend and I am very thankful for all their hospitality I received. When I left Seattle I was already quite tired, when I landed in Michigan I hardly made it back to my mom's house before falling asleep. I picked up Ally a few hours later and we enjoyed a short vacation. She helped argue for me to put my work laptop down and I did so most of the time (I did send one email). On the third day in the Midwest, we drove down to Ohio to visit the rollercoaster theme park, Cedar Point. It was a blast and I tried to disassociate on the top of each ride so I wouldn't calculate the odds of a fatality incident as the g-force hit my body. Back in MA, things are back to the routine again for my better health. Travels are great, for some time.


Mom's new puppy Phoebe


Photo of side street in Seattle International District with Mt Rainier off in the distance

Out in Savannah

Since my brother is an American hero, dealing with the enormity and organization of the US Army for the past few years, I decided to go down...